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Marketing and Motivating Boomers and Beyond

Archive for the ‘60+’ Category

TV viewing “remains solid among older age groups”

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

MarketingCharts.com recently posted an analysis of Nielsen TV viewing data. The upshot? Traditional TV viewing is dropping substantially among US 18-24 year olds. Yet our favorite people — baby boomers and seniors — continue to log significant time in front of the boob tube.

The up & right-ward slope of the maroon and gray lines in this chart show a gradual increase in traditional TV viewing by older adults:

Chart - Traditional TV Viewing By Age - MarketingCharts.com

Source: MarketingCharts.com

Click here to see an interactive version of this chart.

MarketingCharts notes that, contrary to every other age group, 65+ seniors increased their TV time. And while 50-64 year olds decreased traditional TV hours for the first time since the third quarter of 2013, the losses in TV consumption by baby boomers and GenXers are smaller than the losses within the Millennial cohort.

Bruce Springsteen sang “57 Channels (And Nothin’ On).” Today’s marketers are choosing not just between 57+++ TV channels but between traditional broadcast and newer channels such as social and Internet.  Data from sources such as MarketingCharts and Nielsen can help those marketing to baby boomers and seniors make better choices.

 

READ the article: http://bit.ly/YGPW2b

RELATED:

* Boomers are more influenced by advertising than their Gen Y children http://bit.ly/1wUeTmL

* Use of buzzed-about Instagram and Snapchat vs. TV News, by age http://bit.ly/1mLbypj

* TV and newspapers trump social networks for influence on seniors http://bit.ly/14nGboA

 

Mature Marketing Links of the Week – Seniors Unhappy With, Ignored by Advertising

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Monday, Monday … you sneaky thing. Already a new week is upon us and, with it, our recap of the articles and links that got the most attention from marketing and advertising professionals this past week.

With ads like this, is it any wonder seniors don't feel they're represented with respect?

With ads like this, is it any wonder seniors don’t feel they’re represented with respect?

1. MOST CLICKED: Seniors say they don’t like the way they’re portrayed in advertising. It’s either “too good to be true” or “sick and feeble.” As MediaPost reported (http://bit.ly/YLcbVA),

“A mere 47% said they felt that seniors are portrayed ‘as people to be respected.’ It probably doesn’t help that most find ads targeting them uninformative, with just 31% finding value in ads for senior living and financial services, and 29% for ads pharmaceuticals.”

Wow. As sometimes happens, even more insights are found in the comments on this article. Richard Hammer wrote:

“I am the target audience that these advertisers are trying to reach. I am here to tell you that I am totally turned off by the ads targeted towards my age group. And that’s because of the three categories that these ads fall into. Senior Living. Pharmaceutical. Financial Services. Old age. Sickness. Poverty. Actors portraying stereotypes that belong to my fathers generation, not to mine. I am in my 60s and things still go better with Coke, The Pillsbury dough boy pops out of my oven on occasion. And Mr. Clean is alive and well and living under my sink. What I wouldn’t give to see a spot for Coca Cola with 60 somethings playing frisbee on the beach.”

Coincidentally, public radio’s Marketplace called Creating Results on Friday to ask why it is that Coca-Cola and other big companies don’t do just that.

Here’s what our team had to say about advertising to seniors on Friday’s show:

What do YOU think? Why would advertisers NOT want to reach viewers, simply because they’re in their 60s? Share your comments below.

2. Also of note:

* Almost half (48%) of older adults participating in the 2014 United States of Aging survey said they would move to an assisted living community if they could no longer care for themselves. Read more via LeadingAge: http://bit.ly/1uOvtTM

* Maine Rallies for Totally New Approach to Senior Care. The package of proposals tries to strengthen aging in place resources that go beyond traditional senior housing options like assisted living. Read more via Senior Housing News: http://bit.ly/1y6fVAu

* 13 Writing Rules from the terrifically-talented Ann Handley of MarketingProfs: http://bit.ly/1uA0s7y

 

All About Housing: Mature Marketing Links of the Week

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Happy Monday!  Let’s jump right into those mature marketing stories of the week that had people talking around the water coolers.  This week’s focus is all about housing.  Have something to add?  Please note in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you.

MOST CLICKED: Don’t blame the Millennials for housing market woes.  At least that is the sentiment in a recent article in Market Watch.  The article is based on new housing purchase insights released by Zillow.  Many homeowners are suffering from negative equity issues, which are preventing them from putting their current homes on the market.  This is especially the case for Millennials and Gen Xers, with the number of underwater homes for these cohorts nearly twice that of baby boomers.  For Sale

While boomers may not be as impacted directly by negative equity, they are still feeling the effects. Those boomers who want to sell homes and downsize are unable to find buyers, as Gen Xers and Millennials aren’t in a position to want to upgrade to a larger home.

According to the director of UCLA’s Richard S. Ziman Center for Real Estate:

Many millennials don’t have the resources to compete with cash offers or engage in bidding wars with older buyers, he adds. “The reality is, negative equity is part of the new normal, and finding creative solutions to keeping homes affordable, available and accessible to this generation will be critical,” he says.

There is good news, however, the article concludes: as home prices rise the negative equity issues decrease.

Read the full article here.

MOST SHARED:  An article referencing the recent report “Housing America’s Older Adults – Meeting the Needs of an Aging Population” discussed the current housing shortage for seniors. Specifically, that there are not enough affordable options that offer senior-friendly accessibility and are well-located.

Some points of the report included:

*  1/3 of boomers and beyond spend more than 30% of their income on housing, which could make it difficult if additional care/support is required as they age.

Younger baby boomers, those now in their 50s, are of special concern, since they’re less financially secure than generations past — thanks to the Great Recession, according to the report. This is a group of people with lower incomes, wealth and home ownership rates, who may struggle to afford housing and long-term care in retirement.

*Most seniors’ homes don’t have accessibility features to help them as they age, including no-step entries and single-floor living.  This makes either substantial renovations or moving required.

*For many seniors there is a  lack of amenities within close proximity to their current homes.  This is especially important as people become unable to drive and require easy access to nearby health-care and opportunities to remain socially active.

Click here to read the full article.

 

Laboring Baby Boomers

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Yesterday, the United States celebrated Labor Day. According to the United State Department of Labor, “Labor Day … constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” Each year, fewer of those workers are baby boomers, as millions of the cohort have retired in recent years. 

With the aging of baby boomers, we see three labor force trends.

Decline in labor force participation by people 55+

Between the fourth quarter of 2007 to the fourth quarter of 2013, about 5.5 million more people retired. Business Insider reported this as a 16% increase. Despite this, the publication notes, “the labor force participation rate for those 55 years of age and over has only been falling for the last year, whereas the total labor force participation rate has been falling for over five years.”

Chart - baby boomer labor force participation - Business Insider

Source: Business Insider / Matthew Boesler

USA Today reports:

About 76% of those leaving the workforce in 2013 last year represented people over age 55 who say they don’t want jobs, the Labor Department estimates.

“Arithmetically, the Boomers will keep pushing (participation) down done for another 15 years,” said Dean Maki, economist at investment bank Barclays.

Rising 55+ entrepreneurship

Many of the baby boomers who are “retiring” may actually be redefining employment by starting their own ventures. Their age group (born 1946-1964) has had the largest increase in entrepreneurial activity over the last decade, per the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. A 2011 study by Civic Ventures found that  25% of Americans ages 44 to 70 were interested in starting businesses or nonprofit ventures within 5 to 10 years.

Encore careers – a match made in economic heaven?

Boomers are also pursuing new jobs, whether full- or part-time, often called “encore careers.”women-wPlant

Non-profit organization Encore.org reports that boomer interest in encore careers rose 17% between 2011 and 2014.

“More than 25 million Americans 50 to 70 years old are eager to share their skills, passions and expertise in encore careers that address social needs, typically in education, health care, human services and the environment, according to a 2014 study by Encore.org and Penn Schoen Berland. Of this larger group, more than 4.5 million, or 6 percent, are already working for social impact. Another 21 million are ready to join them, nearly six in ten within the next five years.”

Why should boomers want to try a second act, a new chapter in employment? As we noted in a 2012 post called “Re-Thinking Retirement: 6 Lessons For Marketers,” “Work during retirement provides a paycheck … and much more.” 

Baby boomers pursue these encore careers for a mix of reasons, primary among them a sense of purpose. Meeting financial needs and/or earning enough to maintain their lifestyle are also important. 

 

Now that the Labor Day cookouts have ended, and we’re all back to work (sigh), marketers should consider what impact these trends will have on boomer lifestyle and purchase decisions. Then apply those insights to your marketing program. You’ll find your own labors become more effective.

RELATED:  Re-Thinking Retirement: 6 Lessons For Marketers

Mature Marketing Links of the Week – Class In Session

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Around the US, many elementary and secondary education kids are going back to school this week. Seemed an appropriate theme for this week’s round-up of links and resources for mature marketing “kids”!

ELDER logo1. MOST CLICKED: Todd Harff and I are thrilled to be teaching a course for Lasell College: Developing a Mature Consumer Strategy. Designed for professionals in elder services, the class will cover the fundamentals of strategic marketing so that emerging leaders can understand and support organizational marketing efforts. 

The course is offered through the new E.L.D.E.R. certificate program at Lasell. E.L.D.E.R. features eldercare and 50+ market experts from retirement communities, day health, adult learning and more teaching alongside Lasell’s excellent faculty. The result is a variety of unique management learning experiences, and Creating Results is proud to be a part of this initiative.

Find out more: http://bit.ly/1ntoElT

2. Several people clicked through to read what LifeHealthPro, an online resource for life and health insurance providers, suggested in its educational post called “5 Ways to Sell to Seniors.” Their tips include:

- Differentiate yourself online - agreed! (Insights for doing so: http://amzn.to/HSH0yD)

- Be patient, not pushy – agreed!

- Be an educator – agreed! (Our thoughts on baby boomers & lifelong learning: http://bit.ly/1soJxla)

I like to participate in classes, so I cheekily suggested a 6th way to sell to seniors: skip those tired, stock photos. (The article had a few, sadly.)

Read the item in LifeHealthPro: http://bit.ly/1p5m312

3. MOST SHARED: It never fails. At the end of a week, the tweets that are most frequently retweeted or favorited (another way of sharing with your followers) are those in which we thank people! We express our gratitude to someone for becoming a follower, or for sharing one of our posts, or for sharing great content … and they will RT or favorite that item.

What lesson can you learn from the behavior of this class?

Never underestimate the power of a “thank you.” Especially with Silent Generation seniors, who were raised in an era where manners mattered. Do your sales and marketing team members thank folks for their time? For their referrals? For attending an event? For considering your brand  (even if they didn’t purchase)?

In The Cluetrain Manifesto, thesis #2 is that “Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors.” A “thank you” is a great way to connect with the humans your brand wants to motivate.

thank you blog post

How frequently does your brand say “thank you,” on- and offline?

 

With that, I want to THANK YOU for subscribing to this blog! Happy Monday!

Mature Marketing Links of the Week: Pop Icons and Pdfs

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Happy Monday!  The mature marketing news that had people talking over the last week is brought to you by the letter “P”.  Have something to share?  Be sure to note in the comments below.senior calenar

“P” is for Pop Icons:  Beloved pop culture icons and moments in movie history including The Beatles, Wizard of Oz and I Love Lucy were given a new look within a calendar created by residents of Senior Living Communities.  Participants designed their own costumes and sets and even used green screen to bring a little movie-magic to the project.

Members were thrilled with being asked to not only participate by to use their vision to create memorable scenes.  Some Members were even asked for their autograph after the shoot!  They felt like movie stars.

See the pictures and discover how you can create a fun project that excites and involves residents of your community.

“P” is for PDF: An article highlighting the pros and cons of pdfs from an SEO stand-point garnered a lot of interest this past week.  In the article the author explored how (and why) PDFs are valuable, as well and some drawbacks to use within your website.

Pros

* By incorporating clickable links within your PDFs you are giving site visitors yet another way to dive deeper into your website.

*Your content can be indexed and read by search engines when originally created as a text document.

Cons

* Excessive use of PDFs can make it difficult for your visitors to get back to your website, as they typically don’t include site navigation (thus the importance of including links within your content.)

*From an analytic standpoint it can be difficult to track engagement with the piece.

View other pros and cons here.

Mature Marketing Links of the Week: Viral Videos and PR Success

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Happy Monday!  The mature marketing stories and articles of the past week that garnered the most interest focused on tips and tricks for making your marketing efforts as successful as possible.  Have something to add?  Be sure to share it in the comment section below.

MOST SHARED: You can learn a lot from music groups regarding how to make your videos viral sensations, according to a recent ReelSEO article.  The article examined success of the group OK GO, who in a period of just six days received over 1 million views their music video.  By looking at tViral Video tipsheir approach the author offered tips that can be applied when creating your own videos to promote your brand or organization, including:

* Keep It Simple: You don’t need to be flashy to be impactful and interesting.

*Make it Relatable: Know your audience and what matters most to them and incorporate within your video, you’ll encourage more shares and expand your reach.

Read the full story here.

MOST CLICKED: According to PR Newswire, over 1 million press releases were sent through the online service in the last year. For a marketer, that translates to a great deal of competition for coverage.  The service recently conducted a review of the releases to determine the perfect recipe for success in driving the best results. The finding: the more visual the better.

The results are clear – visuals drive more content views, and adding multiple media assets to your content (press releases, and anything else you publish online, for that matter) generates even better results.

In fact, according the their research, half of the top performing releases included visual elements. By incorporating as many visuals as possible you can help stories gain attention in a variety of mediums, encourage social sharing and help connect your story to your audience and make it more appealing.

Read more here.

What do you do to make your news stand out?  We’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

 

Banana-fana Fo-senior … The 50+ Marketing Name Game

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

leslie nielsen - don't call me shirley* A new ecommerce site debates, do we create a category for 40+ products or for aging needs or for more complicated prescriptions?
* A senior living community wants to ban the word senior from brochures.
* A 55+ housing builder wants to strike the word retirement from its website.

Across industries, marketers wonder … is any word safe for 50+ marketing anymore?

(Walking) Sticks & (Rolling) Stones

While Creating Results has addressed the “language of aging” on this blog before, the issue is not going away. And rightly so.

Today’s 50+ers are different than those of the same age in the 1970s. The industries that serve them are different, most notably in senior living where there has been a huge shift from a culture where older equaled frail patient to one where older now equals vibrant community member.

Why were marketers surprised that today’s older adults began challenging the words used to depict (and at restrict) them? The Silent Generation (born 1925-1942) is the same one that led the fight for women’s rights, civil rights, and gay rights. They didn’t do that without kicking several words to the curb. Then there are the rarely-silent Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964). As they clock more time on the planet, they’re calling a time-out on limiting words like cane or retirement, opting for positive-skewing walking stick and encore, instead.

As perceptions change, so does language. And as language changes, so can perceptions.

As Jane Sherwin wrote in an excellent piece for LeadingAge Magazine last month,

“It’s more than the changing population that is driving this new awareness of language, according to Karen Schoeneman … a consultant on culture change. She says that as early as the 1980s there was a growing interest in changing a culture that represented patients as objects through its institutionalized terminology.

‘You can’t just use words, you have to change your outlook as well,’ says Schoeneman. ‘You have to change your culture to more of a community, you have to wake up to how you are treating each other. It’s gradual, a journey. Change in culture and words are almost simultaneous.'”

This is why when senior living leader North Hill embarked on a multi-million dollar campus transformation several years ago, one of their first acts was a training and discussion series about words. They built up their culture before tearing down buildings.

You’ll find the LeadingAge piece and some excellent resources here: http://bit.ly/1mwDomu.

The Words We Love … and Loathe

Two new surveys may offer guidance for this 50+ marketing name game.

1) Ina Jaffe is the aging reporter for NPR. After taking on this beat, she quickly came up against the language issue. When someone put a headline of “Elderly” on a profile of a 71-year-old midwife, “Listeners were furious,” she said.“Maybe once upon a time, ‘elderly’ referred to a particular stage in life, but now people think … it means you’re ailing and you’re frail.”

This prompted NPR to do a survey of its own. “Older adult” emerged the dubious winner — it’s liked by 43% of respondents; nearly 1/3 liked “elder” and nearly 1/3 liked “senior”… but not if paired with the word “citizen.”

As Jaffe reported yesterday, “The category of dislikes had the most enthusiasm. There were about three and a half times more votes cast for terms that didn’t like than for terms that they liked. And I can sum up the overall response by saying that they disliked pretty much everything.”

It wasn’t the obviously offensive terms like “geezer.” Many aging industry-promoted phrases like “positive aging” are disliked as well.

You’ll find the NPR results at http://n.pr/1oFkwCa.

2) The fact that Ronni Bennett calls herself an “elderblogger” and frequently posts as “Cranky Old Lady” should give you a sense of her personality. In May she decided to get a sense of her readers’ preferences for aging language.

Like Jaffe, Bennett found that people are very definite about words they DON’T like, but can’t really say what they DO like. Note that some words showed up in both the yes and no columns:

Table - names to use for older adults. TImeGoesBy poll, May 2014

Bennett doesn’t pull punches, and she has little patience for those who do.

“The cutesy-poo names and descriptions like golden ager, third ager, oldster and Portland, Oregon’s transit designation of ‘honored citizen’ are embarrassingly patronizing. In American English, no other age group but old people are singled out for disrespect in this manner.”

You’ll find Bennett’s results here: http://bit.ly/1mGkFqc. (For more insights, be sure to read the comments while you’re there.)

Ageless Marketing vs. Age-Specific Markets

When we last blogged about aging language, Marilynn Larkin shared this comment:

“How about ‘people’? ‘Customers’? ‘Members’? The longer I work with companies that try to market to boomers, seniors, whatever–the more convinced I am that a demographic –age– is NOT a market. “

That post was almost exactly one year ago. I’d love to hear from readers — has your language changed in this past year? After these recent surveys, will it change in the next?

Or maybe I’m really asking, can 50+ marketing have it both ways: can we find ageless language that connects with consumers segmented by age?

Mature Marketing Links of the (two) Week – “Unexpected Stories,” New 65+ Data

Monday, July 7th, 2014

san-fermin-pamplona-running-bullsToday begins the festival of San Fermin in Pamplona, Spain, in which small groups of bulls are let loose in the streets while white-clothed runners try to stay ahead of, on top of, or pretty much anywhere but under the bulls’ hooves.

It started out as a boring thing – a way to get the animals from the corral to the bullring. Then runners unexpectedly began joining the journey to the ring and now … The story of Pamplona and the running of the bulls has been memorialized by Hemingway and captures worldwide attention each year.

This past week, our top mature marketing content item was all about the unexpected. Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer for MarketingProfs and fantastic source of marketing insights, told blog readers that the key to “Breaking Out of Boring” was to “Tell Unexpected Stories.”

It was by far the most re-tweeted, favorited and clicked item on Creating Results’ social networks these past weeks.

Many brands wish they could break out of boring, but they believe they don’t have the flash of major consumer products or they operate in highly-regulated industries. Ann says LinkedIn “has become the poster child for a staid brand evolving its brand by telling unexpected stories.”

How does LinkedIn do it? Here are her three take-aways:

1) Tap into broad, universal themes. Ann’s example was of a musician’s story that tapped into the idea of ambition. For senior living, there are many aspirational ideas that elders relate to — choose the ones that help them imagine a better quality of life in your community.

2) Put the customer at the story’s center. As Ann writes, “Paradoxically, your “story” is not about you—it’s about what you do for others.”

Personally, I see this as the no-bull clause (pun intended). It is especially important for marketing to baby boomers. They’re not the me-generation the media portrays them as, but they won’t buy unless they know what you’ll do for them. Sharing the customer’s story (and therefore yours) also is more authentic. Remember: boomers were the first generation to be mass-marketed to; they can smell a phony a mile away.

3) Have a kick-ass call to action. 

What makes a call to action kick-ass? Click here to read Ann’s post and find out.

 

A few more attention-getting / attention-worthy items: 

* A new report from the US Census Bureau reveals interesting trends among Americans age 65+, and NextAvenue summarizes some highlights: http://bit.ly/1j8kvXS

– For instance, while labor force participation by men over 65 years old has dropped “precipitously” since 1950, participation by women of the same age has increased.

– From 2000 to 2010, the 65+ population grew by 15.1 percent overall. Where will you find older adults? Try Florida, the state with the highest percentage of residents 65 and over (17.3 percent). West Virginia and Maine rank #2 and #3 for highest percentage of 65+ers. The states with the lowest: Alaska (7.7 percent), followed by Utah and Texas.

– Social Security remains a critical source of income for older adults, especially the poorest Americans, as the chart below illustrates.

social-security-americans-over-65.censusbureau

* From the blog “vaults”: 10 practical PR tips for developers of 55+ and senior living communities: http://bit.ly/1qbkykx

* A look at DC’s newest metro line, the “colossal” expectations for it, and how it could shape the future of the American suburb: http://bit.ly/1qDAlLe

RELATED: A scholar is quoted in the article as saying “That’s where the market wants to be: in these walkable, urban locations.” Creating Results’ Todd Harff took a look at a critical part of that market — older adults — in last year’s post What Do Baby Boomers Want In a Home?

* Steve Farnsworth (@Steveology): Old school marketing yells and sells. Content marketing says, “I might have a solution that can help you.”

 Could Creating Results have a solution to help you and your colleagues achieve your goals? Check out our content — new case studies! — for some ideas and inspiration, then give us a call at 888-205-8899.

Mature Marketing Links of the Week: Landing Page Tips & “Free” ROI

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Happy Monday!  It’s hard to believe that June is coming to a close, where did the time go?!  Let’s jump right into the mature marketing news that had people talking this past week.  Have something to share?  We’d love to see it in our comment section.

MOST CLICKED: As more and more mature consumers flock to online avenues for gathering information about your brand and moving themselves father down the purchase funnel, having a sound landing page strategy is critical. First and foremost, your landing page should serve as a vehicle for lead capture. Ed Kedzierski recently shared his tips for creating great landing page forms:

*Avoid lengthy fields: Keep it simple as long forms can be a huge turn off.  Rule of thumb: if you aren’t going to use the information don’t ask for it.

*Adjust the styling of your form: Make your form appear even shorter—less is more when it comes to driving completions.

*Don’t Submit: Try other wording on the button to capture information that more closely relates to the action and drives higher conversions.

*Eliminate Fear: We found in our Social, Silver Surfer research that privacy concerns run high, especially among boomers and beyond.  You’re capturing personal information, put people at ease by including your privacy policy and reconfirming a safe submission.

Read the full article here.

Related: Learn about Creating Results’ digital initiatives and discover how we can help you maximize your ROI.  Visit our website.

MOST SHARED:

Free ROI  In an age where everyone is looking to stand out, incentives are typically a go-to for quickly driving prospect interest and action. Marketing Profs recently shared an article regarding free offers and how you can measure effectiveness.

The reality is that free is never free for the marketer. There’s always an expense that has to be paid, even if it’s not paid by the customer. Moreover, that cost is often higher than marketer anticipates.

The article explored a variety of “free” incentives, including product and content, along with benefits to utilizing each.  At the end of the day, as marketers it is our job to evaluate potential incentives we want to include and ensure it is not only worth the cost but relevant to our brand.

Read the full post.


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